We have nothing to fear but fearmongering itself.

Busted out for pushing the panic button again. They gonna bomb Wall Street! Close the Holland Tunnel!! Fear! FEAR! TERRORTERROR!

But wait…

Much of the seized al-Qaida intelligence that led to the current raised security alert at US financial targets was three or four years old, US newspapers reported today.

US officials quoted anonymously by the New York Times and the Washington Post said a significant part of the information recovered after the arrests of two militants in Pakistan last month pre-dated the September 11 2001 attacks.

We should have a color-coded Republican diaper alert system. Whenever Kerry’s numbers climb, we can raise the Diaper Index. This week: Brown! Nearly Full!

  1. But doesn’t it take years for al-Qaeda to surveil, plan out, assign members, etc.? Information that’s three or four years old that we didn’t know before could still be valuable, although appropriate weight should be given to the age of the intel.

    What do you think the correct response to this discovery was?

  2. And to follow up my own comment, just read this cogent rejoinder to what I just said on, of all places, Fark:

    “Here’s the thing…there is ALWAYS A CREDIBLE THREAT. At all times. Ridge could give valid threat warnings twice a day, every single day. The threat of terrorist attack on US soil is very real.

    “The timing of the announcements is motivated by politics, designed to steal news cycles and scare the public.”

    Which I can’t really prove or disprove, so I’ll just shut up now while I’m marginally ahead.

  3. I cannot tell you exactly what I think that the best response would be, but I can tell you what it shouldn’t be:

    It’s misleading and dishonest to treat a three years old cache of intel as if it were new information and turn a fairly routine discovery of evidence into a mega-hyped media event. There are TV trucks up and down the Wall Street. One can barely walk through the financial district of NYC without running into some sort of media type.

    Clearly the Administration has decided to use terror alerts as some kind of poltical football. Among a thousand other reasons that his is a bad idea, this is one of the reasons that local governments are bankrupt. Calling out the troops to guard against a theoretical threat with vaporous underpinnings is a huge drain on state budgets.

    These folks have demonstrated repeatedly that they are willing to place politics ahead of true security.

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